trawls through the vast, virtual F ONE world of stock market investors and analysts, one thing strikes the eye: the frequent appearance of the word “biotech”. Dig further into any posting on biotech and the computer screen gets almost deluged with recommendations for buying shares of biotechnology companies. By the time one presses “quit”, the message hits home overwhelmingly: the global biotechnology industry is booming, and in an unprecedented way.
The news is like soothing balm for the recession-hit world economy. Every new drug discovery or drug approval not only draws cheers from millions of victims of debilitating diseases but also adds value to biotechnology companies. Since the past two years, such discoveries and approvals are happening at an unusual pace, particularly in the US market. One also cannot ignore the lengthening list of generic drugs, mostly produced by small companies. This has, as analysts point out, prompted major drug companies to acquire smaller ones to retain their market share. In a complex play of scientific progress and market forces, the biotechnology industry is recording growth that can